- a girdle or belt, especially as worn by women of ancient Greece.
- Classical Mythology. the girdle of Venus, decorated with every object that could arouse amorous desire.
Also especially British, ces·tos.
Origin of cestus1
1570–80; < Latin < Greek kestós a girdle, literally, (something) stitched, equivalent to kes- (variant stem of kenteîn to stitch; see center) + -tos verbal adjective suffix
- a hand covering made of leather strips and often covered with metal studs, worn by boxers.
Origin of cestus2
1725–35; < Latin cestus, caestus
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for cestus
Venus has lent her her cestus, and shares with her the attendance of the Graces.The History of Emily Montague
Her cestus or girdle holds all the magic of passion, and is borrowed even by Hera when she wishes to win her fickle lord.Myth, Ritual And Religion, Vol. 2 (of 2)
Tom has been a sailor—a coal heaver—and some other genteel profession, before he took to the cestus.Life of Lord Byron, Vol. II
Cestus, ses′tus, n. the girdle of Venus, which had power to awaken love: an ancient boxing-glove loaded with lead or iron.
This cestus was a fine parti-coloured girdle, which, as Homer tells us, had all the attractions of the sex wrought into it.The Tatler, Volume 3
- classical myth the girdle of Aphrodite (Venus) decorated to cause amorousness
C16: from Latin, from Greek kestos belt, from kentein to stitch
- (in classical Roman boxing) a pugilist's gauntlet of bull's hide loaded or studded with metal
C18: from Latin caestus, probably from caedere to strike, slay
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012